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New Mountain Biking Trails Open June 30th, and Other Events, at Sugar Mountain Resort

By Joe Wiswell

Sugar Mountain Resort is revamping its mountain biking scene this summer. Its trail system has been undergoing a substantial expansion and will be opening on June 30 with new beginner and intermediate downhill mountain biking trails and rebuilt expert trails. The object is to make Sugar Mountain into a destination for downhill mountain biking in the region with trails accessible for all skill levels.

“We’ve taken the old mountain bike trail system and expanded and rebuilt it,” says Sugar Mountain’s director of marketing Kim Jochl. The old mountain bike trail system was renowned back in the 1990s and early 2000s. It hosted two NORBA National Championships and one collegiate national championship race. While over the past few years Sugar Mountain has invested heavily in their ski infrastructure, putting mountain biking on the back burner, this summer promises a shift back toward mountain biking. The renewed emphasis on these historic trails should be exciting for anyone interested in mountain biking in the High Country.

Among the advantages of Sugar Mountain’s excellent ski infrastructure is their Summit Express chairlift. It is a six-person high speed chairlift that has been modified to carry mountain bikes.

Magic Cycles, the Boone based bike shop, will be opening a satellite shop in the main lodge at Sugar Mountain to rent downhill bikes and equipment and do some repairs. Magic Cycles has many years of experience renting downhill bikes and has worked with Sugar Mountain since the 1990s. They will rent Giant Glories and Trances and Santa Cruz V10s, as well as helmets and body armor.

Opening day is Saturday, June 30. Opening day festivities will include a concert with the new band Rockabilly from 11:00am to 2:00pm.

June 30 is also the day of Sugar Mountain’s second annual Summit Crawl, “run, hike, climb, or crawl” race. This event climbs Gunther’s way, ascending 1,200 feet over the course of 1.2 miles. While prizes will be given for the first finishers in every category, you do not need to be competitive in order to enter. Prizes will come from Merrell, Alpine Ski Center, Tweetsie Railroad, and Ski Country Sports. Lowes Foods will be hosting a first aid/water station at the top of the mountain and the Summit Express chairlift will provide a ride back down to the start.

For more information visit Sugar Mountain’s updated website at http://www.skisugar.com/